Hibs v Arsenal: Which players could feature for the Gunners in Easter Road friendly?

Arsenal provide the opposition for Hibs’ sole pre-season friendly at Easter Road this summer, with the Gunners heading north for a training camp and taking on the Capital club on Tuesday, July 13.

Sunday, 11th July 2021, 12:00 pm
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta will have a fairly strong squad to choose from
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta will have a fairly strong squad to choose from

Like many clubs, Mikel Arteta’s side will be without several players as a result of international duty although some of those who featured at the Euros could be involved if their teams were eliminated early on in the tournament.

Arsenal signed left-back Nuno Tavares from Benfica at the weekend and stands a chance of joining the squad in Scotland after completing his isolation period in England.

Midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga has reportedly completed a medical, with a deal agreed in principle with Anderlecht,

Sign up to our Hibs football newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette are both expected to travel

Who won’t be playing?

Bukayo Saka is still involved with England and could feature in tonight’s Euro 2020 final, so the 19-year-old will be missing on Tuesday.

Lucas Torreira’s involvement with Uruguay in the Copa America is likely to mean the midfielder also sits out the trip to Edinburgh, while Switzerland midfielder Granit Xhaka is nearing a move to AS Roma.

Germany and Scotland’s early exits from the Euros could mean Bernd Leno and Kieran Tierney are involved but much depends on how much time off those involved in international games have been allocated.

Gabriel Magalhaes is injured and his compatriot Gabriel Martinelli is involved in Brazil’s Olympic squad so neither will feature in the Capital.

Konstantinos Mavropanos and Matteo Guendouzi are both out on loan and French defender William Saliba was conspicious by his absence from London Colney this week amid reports he could be heading back to his homeland on loan.

Hector Bellerin has been linked with a move to Internazionale. The Gunners are open to selling the former Barcelona youngster, who is keen on the move to Italy, so an appearance in Edinburgh seems unlikely.

Mohamed Elneny and Rob Holding’s futures are up in the air so it is unclear if either will be included while Willian is another unlikely to travel with the group.

Who is likely to feature?

Even if the Gunners play a strong team against Hibs there could still be some youngsters and fringe players involved.

Icelandic goalkeeper Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson could play if Leno is given extended time off while Arthur Okonkwo stands a chance of minutes after joining the first-team squad this summer. Karl Jakob Hein could also travel.

In defence Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares will likely be joined by Calum Chambers and Sead Kolasinac while Thomas Partey could feature in midfield along with Nicolas Pépé and Emile Smith Rowe.

Eddie Nketiah could get gametime as could utility man Ainsley Maitland-Niles, both of whom have been involved in pre-season training.

Joe Willock impressed on loan at Newcastle in the second half of last season and could feature although his Arsenal future is still to be resolved.

Forwards Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette are both expected to travel north as well.

Reiss Nelson could get an opportunity, while highly-rated Tunisian defender Omar Rekik has been involved in first-team training and could head north along with fellow youngsters Harry Clarke, Folarin Balogun, and Kido Taylor-Hart.

Several academy players have returned to training at Hale End including Ben Cottrell, Jordi Osei-Tutu, Tim Akinola, Miguel Azeez, and Zak Swanson so there is a chance at least some may join the squad in Scotland.

Possible Arsenal squad: Rúnarsson (GK), Okonkwo (GK), Hein (GK), Chambers, Mari, Kolasinac, Soares, Tavares, Rekik, Clarke, Partey, Willock, Smith Rowe, Pépé, Maitland-Niles, Nketiah, Nelson, Aubameyang, Lacazette.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our sports coverage with a digital sports subscription.